I attended your retreat this weekend at the suggestion of my doctor. He is a wise and compassionate person who I have come to respect and rely upon to help me acknowledge, understand and live with PTSD. So when he suggested your retreat I signed up without question and I cannot say I that expected anything in particular but I will say that by Friday night and into Saturday, I thought he had lost his own mind for thinking I could do this retreat. I was tempted more than once to get in the car and drive home. I encountered many difficult personal challenges throughout the weekend and feel that the 2 days I spent on your retreat were more difficult than the 8 weeks of Basic Training I did in the Army. Upon reflection, I am pleased that I completed the retreat as it was a positive and powerful experience of self awareness for me.
There has never been time when my mind was not troubled. My doctor introduced me to meditation and it helped me to focus on my breath which in turn slowed down my thoughts and reduced the noise but I did struggle with pushing away the thoughts and feelings that came up as fast as I could and didn’t understand how to apply meditation to everyday living. Your guidance throughout the practice this weekend allowed me to finally understand what he has been telling me. Your words this weekend echoed his and it just all clicked together at the right time,in the right place and with all the right people. You asked us to let you know what we wanted to take home from this retreat and my answer is clarity of mind and the ability to be present in my own life.
Yesterday, my first day back from retreat, I got stuck in traffic on my way to an appointment. It is a fact that I do have road rage and I immediately became angry and frustrated and then I heard “this is a good opportunity to practice”. It made me stop, it made me think of you and my doctor and I smiled as a great sense of accomplishment grew within me and I sat in traffic, still annoyed and anxious but when I got to my doctor’s office I was able to laugh about the traffic and I had a good day.
I am grateful to you for allowing me to practice under your guidance and for your patience throughout the retreat.